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INTRODUCTION


 
Ruled by the Al Thani family since the mid-1800s, Qatar transformed itself from a poor British protectorate noted mainly for pearling into an independent state with significant oil and natural gas revenues. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Qatari economy was crippled by a continuous siphoning off of petroleum revenues by the Amir, who had ruled the country since 1972. His son, the current Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani, overthrew him in a bloodless coup in 1995. In 2001, Qatar resolved its longstanding border disputes with both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. As of 2007, oil and natural gas revenues had enabled Qatar to attain the highest per capita income in the world. Qatar has not experienced the level of unrest or violence seen in other Near Eastern and North African countries in 2010-11, due in part to... See More



GEOGRAPHY


Location:

 Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia

Geographic Coordinates:

 25 30 N, 51 15 E

Area:

 Total: 11,586 sq km
Land: 11,586 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly smaller than Connecticut

Land Boundaries:

 Total: 60 km
Border countries: Saudi Arabia 60 km

Coastline:

 563 km (Rank: 101)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: as determined by bilateral agreements or the median line

Climate:

 Arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers

Terrain:

 Mostly flat and barren desert covered with loose sand and gravel

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
Highest point: Tuwayyir al Hamir 103 m

Natural Resources:

 Petroleum, natural gas, fish

Land Use:

 Arable land: 1.64%
Permanent crops: 0.27%
Other: 98.09% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 130 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 0.1 cu km (1997)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 0.29 cu km/yr (24%/3%/72%)
Per capita: 358 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural Hazards:

 Haze, dust storms, sandstorms common

Environment - Current Issues:

 Limited natural freshwater resources are increasing dependence on large-scale desalination facilities

Environment - International Agreements:

 Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution

Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - Note:

 Strategic location in central Persian Gulf near major petroleum deposits

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PEOPLE AND SOCIETY


Nationality:

 Noun: Qatari(s)
Adjective: Qatari

Ethnic Groups:

 Arab 40%, Indian 18%, Pakistani 18%, Iranian 10%, other 14%

Languages:

 Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language

Religions:

 Muslim 77.5%, Christian 8.5%, other 14% (2004 census)

Population:

 848,016 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 21.8% (male 95,240/female 89,446)
15-64 years: 76.7% (male 460,673/female 189,914)
65 years and over: 1.5% (male 7,311/female 5,432) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 30.8 years
Male: 32.9 years
Female: 25.5 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 0.81% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 15.48 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 2.43 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -4.94 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Urbanization:

 Urban population: 96% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 1.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 DOHA (capital) 427,000 (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.056 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 2.44 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.36 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 8 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 12.05 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 12.83 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 11.22 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 75.7 years
Male: 73.96 years
Female: 77.53 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 2.43 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 2.5% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 2.757 physicians/1,000 population (2006)

Hospital Bed Density:

 1.4 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 100% of population
Rural: 100% of population
Total: 100% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 100% of population
Rural: 100% of population
Total: 100% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 Less than 0.1% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 Fewer than 200 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 Fewer than 100 (2009 est.)

Education Expenditures:

 3.3% of GDP (2005)

Literacy:

 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 89%
Male: 89.1%
Female: 88.6% (2004 census)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 12 years
Male: 11 years
Female: 14 years (2009)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 1.6%
Male: 0.7%
Female: 7.5% (2007)

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GOVERNMENT


Country Name:

 Conventional long form: State of Qatar
Conventional short form: Qatar
Local long form: Dawlat Qatar
Local short form: Qatar

Note: closest approximation of the native pronunciation falls between cutter and gutter, but not like guitar

Government Type:

 Emirate

Capital:

 Name: Doha
Geographic coordinates: 25 17 N, 51 32 E
Time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions:

 7 municipalities (baladiyat, singular - baladiyah); Ad Dawhah, Al Khawr wa adh Dhakhirah, Al Wakrah, Ar Rayyan, Ash Shamal, Az Za'ayin, Umm Salal

Independence:

 3 September 1971 (from the UK)

National Holiday:

 Independence Day, 3 September (1971); also observed is National Day, 18 December (anniversary of Al Thani family accession to the throne)

Constitution:

 Ratified by public referendum 29 April 2003; endorsed by the Amir 8 June 2004, effective 9 June 2005

Legal System:

 Mixed legal system of civil law and Islamic law (in family and personal matters)

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Suffrage:

 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani (since 27 June 1995); Heir Apparent TAMIM bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, fourth son of the amir (selected Heir Apparent by the amir on 5 August 2003); note - Amir HAMAD also holds the positions of Minister of Defense and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces

Head of government: Prime Minister HAMAD bin Jasim bin Jabir Al Thani (since 3 April 2007); Deputy Prime Ministers Abdallah bin Hamad al-ATIYAH (since 3 April 2007) and Ahmad bin Abdallah al-MAHMUD

Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the amir

Elections: the amir is hereditary

Note: in April 2007, Qatar held nationwide elections for a 29-member Central Municipal Council (CMC), which has limited consultative powers aimed at improving the provision of municipal services; the first election for the CMC was held in March 1999

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura (45 seats; 15 members appointed; 30 members elected by popular vote)

Note: no legislative elections have been held since 1970 when there were partial elections to the body; Council members have had their terms extended every year since the new constitution came into force on 9 June 2005; the constitution provides for a new 45-member Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura; the public would elect 30 members and the Amir would appoint 15; elections to the Majlis al-Shura have been rescheduled for 2013

Judicial Branch:

 Courts of First Instance, Appeal, and Cassation; an Administrative Court and a Constitutional Court were established in 2007; note - all judges are appointed by Amiri Decree based on the recommendation of the Supreme Judiciary Council for renewable three-year terms

International Organization Participation:

 ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CICA (observer), FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Ali Fahad al-Shahwany al-HAJRI
Chancery: 2555 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
Telephone: [1] (202) 274-1600 and 274-1603
FAX: [1] (202) 237-0061
Consulate(s) general: Houston

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Susan L. ZIADEH
Embassy: Al-Luqta District, 22 February Road, Doha
Mailing address: P. O. Box 2399, Doha
Telephone: [974] 488 4161
FAX: [974] 488 4150

Flag Description:

 Maroon with a broad white serrated band (nine white points) on the hoist side; maroon represents the blood shed in Qatari wars, white stands for peace; the nine-pointed serrated edge signifies Qatar as the ninth member of the "reconciled emirates" in the wake of the Qatari-British treaty of 1916

Note: the other eight emirates are the seven that compose the UAE and Bahrain; according to some sources, the dominant color was formerly red, but this darkened to maroon upon exposure to the sun and the new shade was eventually adopted

National Anthem:

 Name: "Al-Salam Al-Amiri" (The Peace for the Anthem)
Lyrics/music: Sheikh MUBARAK bin Saif al-Thani/Abdul Aziz Nasser OBAIDAN

Note: adopted 1996; the anthem was first performed that year at a meeting of the Gulf Cooperative Council hosted by Qatar

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ECONOMY


Economy - Overview:

 Despite the global financial crisis, Qatar has prospered in the last several years - in 2010 Qatar had the world's highest growth rate. Qatari authorities throughout the crisis sought to protect the local banking sector with direct investments into domestic banks. GDP rebounded in 2010 largely due to the increase in oil prices. Economic policy is focused on developing Qatar's nonassociated natural gas reserves and increasing private and foreign investment in non-energy sectors, but oil and gas still account for more than 50% of GDP, roughly 85% of export earnings, and 70% of government revenues. Oil and gas likely have made Qatar the highest per-capita income country - ahead of Liechtenstein - and the country with the lowest unemployment. Proved oil reserves of 25 billion barrels should enable continued output at current levels for 57 years. Qatar's proved reserves of natural gas exceed 25 trillion cubic meters, about 14% of the world total and third largest in the world. Qatar's successful 2022 world cup bid will likely accelerate large-scale infrastructure projects such as Qatar's metro system and the Qatar-Bahrain causeway.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $150.6 billion (2010 est.)
$129.5 billion (2009 est.)
$119.2 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $129.5 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 16.3% (2010 est.)
8.6% (2009 est.)
25.4% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $179,000 (2010 est.)
$155,400 (2009 est.)
$144,500 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 0.1%
Industry: 71.8%
Services: 28.1% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 1.242 million (2010 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

 0.5% (2010 est.)
0.5% (2009 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 NA%

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 1.3%
Highest 10%: 35.9%

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 41.1 (2007)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 29.1% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget:

 Revenues: $52.84 billion
Expenditures: $31.61 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 40.8% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 16.4% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 8.6% of GDP (2010 est.)
13.8% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 -2.4% (2010 est.)
-4.9% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 3.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
5.5% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 7.34% (31 December 2010 est.)
7.27% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $14.59 billion (31 December 2009)
$13.98 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $44.5 billion (31 December 2009)
$36.58 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $18.77 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$14.59 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $72.72 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$59.09 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $89.61 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$74.39 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market Value of Publicly Traded Shares:

 $123.6 billion (31 December 2010)
$87.86 billion (31 December 2009)
$76.31 billion (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - Products:

 Fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef; fish

Industries:

 Liquefied natural gas, crude oil production and refining, ammonia, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement, commercial ship repair

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 27.1% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 19.18 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 100%
Hydro: 0%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 18.79 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 1.437 million bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 166,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 1.038 million bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 4,108 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 25.38 billion bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 116.7 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 21.89 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 94.81 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 25.37 trillion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 $15.04 billion (2010 est.)
$6.688 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

 $72.04 billion (2010 est.)
$48.31 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Liquefied natural gas (LNG), petroleum products, fertilizers, steel

Exports - Partners:

 Japan 30.3%, South Korea 13.1%, India 8%, Singapore 7.7%, UK 4.2% (2010)

Imports:

 $20.94 billion (2010 est.)
$22.45 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals

Imports - Partners:

 US 15.5%, Germany 9%, UAE 7.3%, South Korea 6.5%, UK 6.1%, Japan 5.6%, Saudi Arabia 5.4%, Italy 5.3%, France 4.5%, China 4.2% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $31.19 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$18.81 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $75.13 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$70.8 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - Abroad:

 $19.49 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$14.27 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - At Home:

 $26.38 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$20.75 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Qatar Rial to Any Currency

Qatari rials (QAR) per US dollar -
3.64 (2010)
3.64 (2009)
3.64 (2008)
3.64 (2007)
3.64 (2006)

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COMMUNICATIONS


Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 298,100 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 2.329 million (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: modern system centered in Doha

Domestic: combined fixed and mobile-cellular telephone subscribership exceeds 300 telephones per 100 persons

International: country code - 974; landing point for the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) submarine cable network that provides links to Asia, Middle East, Europe, and the US; tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and the UAE; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat (2009)

Broadcast Media:

 Television and radio broadcast media are state controlled; home of the satellite TV channel Al-Jazeera, which was originally owned and financed by the Qatari Government; Al-Jazeera claims editorial independence in broadcasting; transmissions of several international broadcasters are accessible on FM in Doha (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 6, FM 5, shortwave 1 (1998)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 1 (plus 3 repeaters) (2001)

Internet Country Code:

 .qa

Internet Hosts:

 822 (2010)

Internet Users:

 563,800 (2009)

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TRANSPORTATION


Airports:

 6 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 4
Over 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Heliports:

 1 (2010)

Pipelines:

 Condensate 145 km; condensate/gas 132 km; gas 980 km; liquid petroleum gas 90 km; oil 382 km (2010)

Roadways:

 Total: 7,790 km (2006)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 29
By type: bulk carrier 3, chemical tanker 2, container 14, liquefied gas 6, petroleum tanker 4
Foreign-owned: 7 (Kuwait 7)
Registered in other countries: 30 (Liberia 5, Marshall Islands 24, Panama 1) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Doha, Mesaieed (Umaieed), Ra's Laffan

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MILITARY


Military Branches:

 Qatari Amiri Land Force (QALF), Qatari Amiri Navy (QAN), Qatari Amiri Air Force (QAAF) (2009)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2010)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 389,487
Females age 16-49: 165,572 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 321,974
Females age 16-49: 140,176 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 6,429
Female: 5,162 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 10% of GDP (2005 est.)

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TRANSNATIONAL ISSUES


Trafficking in Persons:

 Current situation: Qatar is a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labor and, to a much lesser extent, forced prostitution; men and women from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Sudan, Thailand, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and China voluntarily migrate to Qatar as low-skilled laborers and domestic servants, but some subsequently face conditions indicative of involuntary servitude as domestic workers and laborers, and, to a lesser extent, commercial sexual exploitation

Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - the Government of Qatar does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; it did not demonstrate evidence of significant efforts to punish traffickers or proactively identify victims; however, the government has a written plan that, if implemented, would largely bring the country into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; it is devoting sufficient resources to implementing the plan (2011)

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Last Updated: December 2011

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